Boy, 5, dies of injuries days after Netanya hit-and-run

Grandfather says car came out of nowhere as they tried to cross street after trip to playground; driver and daughter suspected in crash and alleged cover-up, put under house arrest

Cars travel along Ben Gurion Avenue in Netanya, Israel. (Google Maps)
Cars travel along Ben Gurion Avenue in Netanya, Israel. (Google Maps)

A 5-year-old boy died Wednesday of injuries he sustained in a hit-and-run incident in the coastal city of Netanya on Saturday.

The child was struck by a vehicle while walking with his grandfather on the shoulder of Ben Gurion Avenue, a double-lane traffic artery that stretches along the southern stretch of the city’s coastline, according to Hebrew media.

The boy was rushed in critical condition to Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel in Petah Tikva, suffering from “a very severe multi-system trauma,” according to the paramedic who treated him. Four days later, the hospital said the boy had died of his wounds.

The grandfather suffered a broken arm and did not require hospitalization.

On Sunday, police arrested a mother and daughter from Netanya on suspicion of being involved in the crash. Police said a woman in her 70s was suspected of driving the car when it hit the boy, then fleeing the scene, and that the daughter, in her 50s, was suspected of trying to cover-up the incident.

Police said the two women had taken their car to be repaired at a garage on Sunday morning. They were later released to house arrest after being questioned.

The grandfather told the Walla news site that he had been attempting to cross a road after taking his grandchildren to a playground.

“When we crossed the road, we looked right and left and there was no vehicle. Suddenly, it came and hit me and my family,” he said in comments published before the death was announced.

He said the driver did not stop to help after hitting them.

“She continued driving, hit a guard rail, and her lights shattered. She continued driving while my grandson lay injured on the grass,” he said.

Hundreds of hit-and-runs occur in Israel annually, resulting in between 10 and 15 fatalities each year, according to Or Yarok, a nonprofit organization promoting road safety.

In 2011, lawmakers introduced new legislation that meted out heavier penalties for drivers found guilty of being involved in hit-and-runs. Under that amendment, a person who perpetrated a hit-and-run that resulted in death or very serious injury was to receive a prison sentence of 14 years.

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